CHAPTER 6

Despite the loud groaning of their lovemaking, the sound had not attracted any additional walkers. Daryl got up and looked out the window, naked. Carol smiled and said softly "Nice view!"

Daryl snickered at her "Oh, stop!" He slipped his jeans and boots on and listened at the bedroom door, before pulling it open and quietly looking down the stairs. The inside of the house was still clear, although one living room window had been broken and rotting fingers were scratching at the bookcase in front of it.

When Daryl came back into the bedroom, he saw a nude Carol bending over in the bathroom, drying herself off with a towel. He leaned in the doorframe and watched as she got dressed. She knew he was watching, but she was too relaxed and happy to have any shyness with him right now.

Daryl finally spoke from the doorway. "Everything looks the same out there. Why don't you get some sleep and I'll keep watch."

Carol shrugged. "I'm not sleepy, I'm hungry."

Daryl grabbed one of their bags of supplies from the floor and sat on the bed with her. They shared a granola bar and washed it down with a swig of mouthwash. Then Carol couldn't resist tasting his minty lips. This time he showed no hesitation in claiming her entire body with his mouth and hands. Their passion was quieter and slower this time, but still very satisfying for both of them.

Carol snuggled into the pillows and looked at Daryl with droopy, satisfied eyes. "Now I'm sleepy."

He smiled at her. "That's good… but put yer clothes on. Just in case…."

She pursed her lips and dipped her head. "Yeah. You're right. Of course."

Daryl just chuckled and watched her get dressed again. He did another perimeter check, and when he returned, she was asleep. He blew out all the candles but one and sat near the window, waiting for the dawn, and wondering how they were going to get out of this siege.

In the morning he saw that the east bedroom had a huge tree outside the window, which was the start of a group of large and medium trees which spread haphazardly to the yard next door. He formulated a plan.

When Carol woke up, he told her to sort through the supplies they had gathered in this house and take only the most vital things. Anything "extraneous" like deodorant or books would have to be left behind. Once everything was consolidated into two pillowcases, he used the power cords from lamps to tie them to Carol's backpack so everything was in one large, easy to grab bundle with a long "rope" attached.

He took her to the east bedroom, showed her the trees and explained his plan. Carol slung her rifle over her shoulder and said with more confidence than she felt, "Okay, I'm ready."

Daryl frowned at her. "Wait a minute." He tore strips from a sheet and used them to

tie her rifle securely to her back, so it wouldn't slip off her shoulder and unbalance her as she climbed or ran. With a quick slit from her knife she could free the rifle if needed.

Then he went to the west bedroom and started throwing baseballs, tennis balls, and coffee mugs at the west neighbor's house. The sounds attracted the walkers from all sides of the house, and Carol was able to climb the trees safely to the east neighbor's porch roof.

Once there, she quietly opened a window ("Thank goodness for old-fashioned double-hung windows! I'm glad I didn't have to break it," she thought.) Going downstairs, she exited on the side of the house farthest from where Daryl had lured the walkers. Quietly she made her way to the minivan, then started it up and drove to where Daryl was waiting in the east bedroom window. He quickly lowered the backpack bundle to the roof of the minivan, then jumped down and held onto the luggage rack as Carol drove them to safety. Once they were a couple blocks away, Carol stopped and Daryl got off the roof with a whoop of triumph. After a quick hug and stowing their supplies, they headed back to their friends at the gas station.